Katuaq Cultural Centre

Nuuk/ Greenland

Size/ 4,800 m²
Cost/ € 12 million excl. VAT
Competition/ 1992, 1st prize in open international competition
Status/ Construction period 1994 – 1997
Client/ Nordic Council of Ministers/ Greenland’s Home Rule/ Nuuk Municipality.
Engineers/ Rambøll A/S/ NIRAS A/S
Awards/ 1997, Selected Buildings Award/ 1998, The Nykredit Architecture Prize/ 1998, The Danish Arts Foundation Award/ 1999, The Eckersberg Medal
Photo/ Adam Mørk

Inspired by Greenland’s dramatic scenery of icebergs, snowfields and mountains, the main element of the building is sheathed by a ‘floating’, undulating screen of golden larch wood. This second ‘skin’ lends the scheme an elegant airiness, creating a contrast with the solid form of the core building. The foyer serves as an indoor public piazza and is divided into separate areas by three free-standing geometric structures housing the main facilities of the Cultural Centre: a square box for the TV studio, a triangular structure for the café and a circular form for the multi-purpose auditorium.

The Cultural Centre of Greenland in Nuuk is a dynamic meeting place for Inuits from all over the northern hemisphere.

The screen acts as an architectural metaphor for the Northern Lights, whereas the dark and massive form of the main building is reminiscent of the icy mountains of Greenland.

Daylight streams into the large foyer through roof lights and narrow oblong glass slits in the external screen.

The decoration of the foyer in Culture Centre of Greenland is – as well as the building – a reference to the surrounding nature and Greenlandic culture. The Greenlandic artist Buuti Pedersen has created the relief based on the old myth of the sun and the moon called Malina & Aningaaq. The relief is carved directly into the wall.

The auditorium has seating for 550 people and can also be used as a cinema, theatre or concert/conference hall.

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